INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Jay Wilson was soaking up the moment as his restaurant was filling up with more and more customers during the lunch hour.
“We’re just blessed that we’re here,” he said. “We’re blessed that the community is supporting us and we just feel love from family and friends. Our reputation has maintained us so here we are and here they are.”
It’s a grand reopening that’s been more than a year in the making after a fire destroyed the Mississippi Belle Southern soul food restaurant in October 2019.
Wilson talked about some of the toughest moments on the road back to recovery.
“The rebuilding, the not knowing if my help (was) going to come back (and]) am I going to find help,” he recalled. “To actually open the doors today and here we are just minutes into it and already they’re flooding in, phones ringing. It’s like we didn’t miss a beat.”
Customers Donald Weaks and Cal Wilson can attest to that. “Today’s the first day being open so I’m excited to be here for that,” Wilson said.
The Detroit native recognized the restaurant as one of his favorite introductions to Indianapolis.
It’s “one of the first places that was recommended to me when I first came to Indy, so I came out tried it out and I’ve been happy every since,” he said.
“I was the first person (in line), but I let a lady come in first,” Weaks said.
As a regular at Mississippi Belle, Weaks says his favorite waitress, Lakisha McReynolds, knew his order before he even got out of his car.
“A lot of my customers, I see their faces (and) I know what they’re eating,” McReynolds said. “It’s been a whole year and a half. I’ve been waiting on this. I miss this.”
A large part of the orders during Mississippi Belle’s reopening will tell you that the fan favorite is the fried chicken. The macaroni and cheese, greens and sweet potatoes were the popular side dishes during its first lunch hour back in business.
Wilson says established customers will notice different decorations on the inside.
Call (317) 466-0522 to order takeout, or dine in at 2710 E. 54th St.